Martin Kaymer became the first German to win the BMW International Open in its 20 year history after bravely holding off Dane Anders Hansen in a play-off at Golfclub München Eichenried.
Kaymer started the final day six shots clear of the field but this was no victory stroll in front of an adoring gallery. After three days of superb golf Kaymer struggled to the turn in 38 and ran up a triple-bogey eight on the long 11th, putting two balls in the lake short of the green.
But the 23 year old, now sixth in the Ryder Cup race, birdied two holes later and then, needing another on the par five last to match Hansen's 15 under par total, was on in two and almost made a 40 foot putt for eagle and the €333,330 first prize.
Back they went to the same hole and while Hansen was in two bunkers Kaymer hit a massive drive and an even better six iron approach to seven feet. When the two-time BMW PGA Champion three-putted for a bogey six, Kaymer had three for it, but two-putted for birdie.
English trio Paul Casey, John Bickerton and Mark Foster tied for third on 13 under par 275.
Hansen, who had knee surgery under a month ago and was originally told he could be out for four to six weeks, had been eight behind at the start of the day, but closed with two 67s.
Kaymer dedicated the victory to his seriously ill mother, and his voice cracking with emotion, said: "This was for you."
He moves up four spots in the Ryder Cup standings with only ten weeks left and now has a great chance of making his debut in September.
When he won in Abu Dhabi in January - two weeks before finishing runner-up to Tiger Woods in Dubai with a birdie-birdie-eagle finish - Kaymer was also six ahead entering the final round and turned in 39.
He was not caught on that occasion and eventually won by four, but remembering that he said: "Six shots is a lot, but it does not feel like that.
"I struggled a little bit and made a big mistake on the 11th. I thought I would make it easy with a five-iron, but got a little loft on the ball.
"I didn't keep my patience, but I will know for next time and I kept fighting.
“It was very exciting today, but to be the first German to win this tournament is very special for me. It was a great support out there today, and I can't wait to play next year.
“To win in my country is very special for me. I was leading after three days with six shots, and they were gone after six, seven holes already, and I just kept fighting and brought it home.
For Hansen, he came so close to a third BMW title have already won the BMW PGA Championship on two occasions but Kaymer managed to withstand the challenge.
“I started off shaky and I didn't hit the ball well, but all of a sudden I found something and was solid from the seventh in, just really solid,” said Hansen. “It was really nice but full credit to Martin who played great all week.”
For a while it looked as though Bickerton might be the one to capitalise on Kaymer's demise and he would have equalled the Tour record by making up a ten stroke deficit on the final day, but came up two short.